Katrina Kaif stars alongside Salman Khan in Yash Raj Films’ “Tiger 3,” the latest film in producer Aditya Chopra’s spy universe.
The spy universe kicked off with the Tiger franchise, starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, beginning with “Ek Tha Tiger” (2012) and “Tiger Zinda Hai” (2017) and continued with “War” (2019), starring Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff and “Pathaan” (2023), starring Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone. In the Tiger franchise, Salman Khan plays Avinash Singh Rathore, AKA Tiger, who belongs to Indian intelligence agency RAW and Kaif plays Zoya Humaini Rathore, an ex-agent from Pakistan’s ISI.
Variety spoke with Katrina Kaif on her role.
Variety: What was the most challenging aspect of the “Tiger 3” shoot and what was the most fun?
Katrina Kaif: Every Tiger film has taken Zoya’s character a notch above, and she has fought harder, and it has been bloodier. That’s the USP of the character, which I love. “Tiger 3” for me was a very physically demanding role. My action prep was at least for about two months. We wanted Zoya to look agile, have more speed, and greater strength. I really had to go through the grind and it was definitely the toughest training of my career so far, when you see the kind of action that Zoya has done, you will realize that such sequences may not have been attempted by a woman before. We also had some of the best action teams in the world training and shooting these sequences and, now, I am super excited for audiences to watch the film on the big screen.
A clip of the hammam [Turkish bath] action sequence from the film has gone viral.
I’m aware that the towel fight sequence at the hammam from “Tiger 3” has gone viral. It was a very, very difficult sequence to shoot because it has incredible hand to hand fighting inside a steamy hammam room so gripping, fending, landing the punches and the kicks everything was very difficult. Hats off to Adi [Aditya Chopra] for thinking of this brilliant scene because I don’t think there has been a fight sequence like this featuring two women on screen in India. The way Maneesh [director Maneesh Sharma] and the action team executed it was just incredible – everything was detailed out to a T. So, it was a total team effort which people are loving.
Zoya takes on a brilliant fighter played by Michelle Lee and I’m sure the intensity, the aggression, the brutality in the scene is going to make people gasp. For me, this is one of the best action sequences I have ever seen women do on screen. It’s simply brilliant and I can’t wait for people to see the full action set piece in theaters.
Without any spoilers, what should the audience expect from “Tiger 3”?
“Tiger 3” is an out-and-out action entertainer that has a gripping and emotional storyline. It has bigger, better, stunning action sequences and some great music.
What’s the timeline on “Tiger vs Pathaan,” the next film in the Tiger franchise? When do you start filming and when is it due?
I think Adi and only Adi can answer this.
In a post-pandemic world when audiences are used to watching content from around the world on streaming platforms, what is the best way to keep them coming back to cinemas?
A good engaging story will find its audience. “Tiger 3” is a visual spectacle that is more emotional and grittier this time. The film has all the trappings of being the perfect family festive entertainer.
What are you working on next?
Shortly after “Tiger 3” I have “Merry Christmas” releasing, a thriller with Sriram Raghavan [“Andhadhun.”]
“Tiger 3” releases in India on Nov. 12, on the Diwali holiday. It releases in North America on Nov. 11.